Cardinal Flower Seeds

knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)October 24, 2006

Can someone please describe to me what Cardinal Flower seeds aught to look like? I've harvested what I think are the seeds from my one and only plant. Most of the pods were undeveloped and empty but 2 had the tiniest-most particles in them. The colour was like "toasted almond" and they were so tiny that you couldn't breathe near them or they would be cast across the surface of the plate. Are those the seeds? They looked more like tiny grains of pollen but I kept them anyway, until I find out if they are truely the seeds.

Thanks for any help.


southern Ontario, CANADA

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cypsavant(z5/6 Ontario)

Hi Barb,
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) seeds are just as you describe, wee tiny things. I've usually found them to be a bit reddish/rusty "toasted almond" sounds about right.
They don't require cold treatment usually, but they do need light to germinate. Surface sow them on damp mix next spring, and don't cover them. Bottom watering is a good idea, it'll keep them from being forced down into the mix. I usually winter sow them in early spring in an old salad container with a clear plastic lid with a few vent holes...seems to work pretty well.
Good luck

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 8:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joepyeweed(5b IL)

Yup - those tiny specs are the seeds.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 2:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bubbleoffplumb(z6 NY)

I just checked on my cardinalis plants/seed pods today
i've been waiting....
and waiting...
and waiting for them to be "ripe" (zone 6 ny state - very close to the hudson river).
I did pull off two pods that were the "brownest of the bunch" - and brown is a bit of a stretch - they just don't seem ready yet. i sorta "scattered" the pods in a couple of mossier areas (as per esh_ga's suggestion on another thread).

many of my other plants clearly show me when they're "ready" to share their seeds, but this one seems a bit trickier.

I'd like to wait a bit longer before I try again to collect some seeds, but I fear losing them.
do you think I should place a nylon or something over them??


    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 11:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

It's unlikely that a nylon would work anyway. They are finer than DUST, no word of a lie. :o/ I really can't think of any way that the seeds/dust could be collected if the pods were to open spontaneously.

My Cardinal Flower plant (ya, I only have one little lonely one) is in the shade so it's still green but ones I've seen in sunny areas are now turning that brownish/yellow colour. I knocked on the door of someone I don't even know to ask them for some pods but unfortunately nobody answered. :o( I'll try again though because it takes a zillion of these dust specs to even appear visible in a tiny seed envelope. I'm afraid if I don't put in enough that people will think I'm ripping them off when I use CF seeds in trades.

Bubble off plumb... you and I are very close geographically (relatively speaking) and we've had such wet, wet weather, I suppose it's hard for the seeds to ripen and the stalks to dry.

southern Ontario, CANADA

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 11:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bubbleoffplumb(z6 NY)

guess I'll just try to keep an eye on 'em.
thanks for saving me the anguish of
a) trying to find a nylon - scarce 'round here
b) going thru the entire proceedure to see they escaped my capture anyway

I had two plants - one of them has been stripped bare, only the stalk remains. the other, I've been pulling pods off of.
so theres not much left.
mine are in the shadier parts, too.

I just found it odd that things like the asters bloomed later and set seed earlier -
but I guess everything has it's own "time".

good luck on your seed snatching!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 9:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

Bubble off Plumb... if you can't get seeds, would you like me to send you some?

I haven't much but seeing as about a thousand could fit on your thumb, I know I have way more than I need.

I did the same thing with my plant...kept pulling off pods to check them and then when the seed were finally ripe, I only had 2 pods left. I'll know better for next year I guess.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 3:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bubbleoffplumb(z6 NY)

an emphatic YES!
I'll keep my eye on my few remaining pods -
if all fails on that front, it would be VERY appreciated.
there's just something about these plants...
maybe because they're "Exploitably Vulnerable" in NY
and definately because of their color and beauty -
I just want to "do my part" to help 'em keep on "keepin' on".

check your email

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 12:26PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Elm scale
I planted a Princeton Elm in my front yard 2 years...
Redring Milkweed seed availability for 2014
Hi Folks, I received seed of Asclepias variegata (Redring...
Looking for Alternative for Russian Sage
Over the weekend, I was out of the state and seen some...
Indian story or legend about Sassafras leaves
This is a little out of the ordinary, but I am looking...
Which of these native grasses/oats/sedges will spread via roots?
Hi, For the benefit of creating a useful list... Which...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™